Exhibition About the Youth Concentration Camp for Girls and Young Women Uckermark
from September 24 until December 14, 2015
in JIFE, Praterstern 1, 1020 Wien
Entrance is free.
The group currently working on the project Whose story consists partly of members of the Austrian "Lagergemeinschaft" (Camp Community) Ravensbrück and Friends (ÖLGR/F) and partly of people who are interested in the politics of memory. Primary motivation and, as it were, starting point of the project was the desire to bring the traveling exhibition about the Youth Concentration Camp Uckermark to Vienna for the first time.
We are trying to achieve greater visibility for the consequences of the persecution under the Nazi regime and the often continued discrimination after 1945 through the accompanying events to the exhibition. We therefore have chosen to focus on some of the reasons why young women and girls were imprisoned in the Youth Concentration Camp. For example because they were labeled as "asocial". The experiences of those who survived brutal violence through the Nazi-oriented public are often ignored or purposely supressed from conscious memory. The question Whose Story? exercises critique on the discourse of the Austrian "majority" population, which – critically or uncritically – circles around questions of guilt, responsibility and the rejection of both and therefore makes those who were in fact victims invisible time and again.
We would like to focus on some of these perspectives through this project. Furthermore, we would like to illustrate and discuss how this distinct form of violent discrimination, oppression and degradation of human beings who are pushed to society's margins continues because they do not fit into the desired mold. This takes place on a daily basis, as for instance in institutions, for example when social workers record the supposed evidence of an anti-social personality or criminal tendencies in their clients' files. Or when passersby curse at, spit on or demand the police to remove people begging in public spaces. Additionally racist and anti-Semitic attacks in public spaces cannot be designated as isolated or uncommon occurrences but have to be realized as part of the discriminative discourse analyzed here.
Therefore the goal of our work is to develop strategies for common action against racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, anti-Roma and classist tendencies in the present with the help of an attentive look into the recent past of Austria and Germany.